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  1. #1
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    Default Game Basics Eluding ME

    Hi all, new player who's gotten his strimtom acid ranger to 20 +5, with a tier 1 thunderforged bow. I've been reading like mad, but more than a few things escape me on game basics. My gear is very basic (apart from the bow, which as Strimtom advised is a gamechanging upgrade, my invisibility cloak is my prized possession).

    1) Going from heroic to epic. Using Grimm&Barrett's as a guideline, the change from HE (tonnes of hard to kill abashai) to EN (hardly any, and it's level 30+ to boot) is hard to reconcile in my aged brain (tho the end boss is nicely boosted in EN - what a surprise!).

    Is this change from heroic to epic typical? It seems...odd. I noticed a similar thing in Prison of the Planes, so i got adventurous and tried EH - the trash mobs were considerably tougher than EN, and i extrapolated from that, and decided i'd think about EH for a while longer (boss survivability seemed low for me).

    Is this how all the guides recommend lvl 15/lvl 30 H/E gear for their epic gear guides? They farm them on EN or EH or something while they are level 15?

    2) Sneak attack die from enhancements. I've always presumed this had to occur while 'hidden' - but ive gathered lately that some other effects substitute for this (deception et al), tho it is not spelled out that i can find - i chalk it up to learning curve again. Do players actually creep about the dungeons in hide?

    I have more questions, but these'll do to start :P
    Wormys Bindabu of Orien.

  2. #2

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    welcome!
    1) EN is easier than late heroics on elite, especially newer packs. In fact, EN is quite easy. EH is not that hard either TBH.

    2) there are a lot of sources and means of sneak damage including deception on gear and weapons, class levels (like Rogue) and enhancement trees. I do not know much about the build. To proc sneak damage is trickier--it does not require you to be hidden; normally it involves breaking their fortification and (more or less) flanking them, but a host of abilities and gear overcome these limitations (like Improved deception or Deepwood Stalker's called shot or whatever it is called).

    I actually do creep through dungeons and hide, although this form of stealth play has somehow attracted the ire of current developers and they are out to stop us sneaky types!
    Wiki dashboard with some useful stealthplay links
    Proud Knight Templar of the Silver Legion, Cannith: Saekee (main; epic completionist); Parked Toons: Katwoemyn (10), Saelegion (4), Alitirala (4), Naerfelka (21)


  3. #3
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    Welcome to the game!

    1. It's typical but depends drastically on the quests you're running.

    - In general, content released more recently is much more difficult than older content. While that's not particularly helpful for a newer player who hasn't seen many/any adventure packs get released, you can always look here on the Wiki. You'll get a feel for it pretty quick

    - Quest level continues to matter in epics, but to a lesser extent. Individual quest / update difficulty aside, quests that are level 28+ are significantly harder than quests in the 25-28 range. When the level cap was raised to 30, they rolled out a sorta-new tier called "legendary", which is a fancy name for any quest that is 30+ after accounting for Hard / Elite / Reaper. Legendary quests are quite a bit more difficult than even high epic quests. They're also newer, drop shinier things, and often give more xp

    - I'm a fairly casual player (it takes me a month or two to get to 20) and when I was very new to the game a few years ago, I went from soloing Elite (with a hireling) to soloing Epic Hard. That was the case even for older quests (2012ish) in the Menace of the Underdark expansion. Only in the past year or two have I been able to solo EE or, very recently, R1 in epic. So in epics, there's a significant step up in the difficulty of lower difficulties, if that sentence makes any sense

    - Guides tend to show the best-in-slot gear for a particular build. They're written by veterans and usually aimed at veterans to show off the endgame potential of a concept. It inflates the numbers (which makes the author look good) and allows the vets to compare these stats to their current high-end builds.
    If you don't have access to particular gear, try to join groups of the appropriate level. Jump in an R1 Sharn group (levels 15-17), ask people to pass you things they don't need, and most of the time you'll get something. You can farm for heroic gear while in epics but that gets rather tedious. You can farm EN/EH, but the drop rates are lower in those difficulties.

    2) Most players don't use the "sneak" feat, which uses your "hide" and "move silently" skills. In general, you get sneak attack on a target when you aren't being targeted by it. I say "targeted" rather than "attacked" because you'll only get sneak attack on the first couple of ranged attacks, even if you're targeting a melee, because after that point you've got it's attention

    I could go over the full list, but somebody already wrote that up here. The most common ways folks get sneak attack is on crowd-controlled enemies or ones that are being tanked. Unless somebody's an assassin rogue, you probably won't see them sneaking around

    More questions? We've got an extra day this weekend, so fire away
    Last edited by Discpsycho; 01-17-2020 at 10:38 PM. Reason: I type too slowly...

  4. #4
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    Thanks - the sneak wiki is helpful (and the entire wiki seems to be very well done and thorough), but i see sneak enhancements mentioned on the boards a lot, but not mechanics of it (apart from assumed extra dps), so i wondered if there was something i was missing: doesn't look like something i'd want to waste precious APs on in a big way.

    I know i struggled on EN in the temple of elemental evil, even with my new bow, enough so that i'm simply waiting until a later level to try it. ToEE is not new, as i understand it, but probably is a special case (it's designer has many herbal remedies in the garden too, i'm guessing). I can farm a few chests at that level now, slowishly, but there's nothing there that i can't wait for.

    So epics when available is a real thing right from the off (Strimtom did mention this, and i assumed it was because he'd had 5 past lives and 3 beers under his belt that he'd forgotten about), don't worry too much about level unless i'm being smitten - and aim for solo raids one day.

    I am starting to talk to my hirelings tho - the silence in general chat is weird.

  5. #5
    Community Member Quikster's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enksun View Post
    Thanks - the sneak wiki is helpful (and the entire wiki seems to be very well done and thorough), but i see sneak enhancements mentioned on the boards a lot, but not mechanics of it (apart from assumed extra dps), so i wondered if there was something i was missing: doesn't look like something i'd want to waste precious APs on in a big way.

    I know i struggled on EN in the temple of elemental evil, even with my new bow, enough so that i'm simply waiting until a later level to try it. ToEE is not new, as i understand it, but probably is a special case (it's designer has many herbal remedies in the garden too, i'm guessing). I can farm a few chests at that level now, slowishly, but there's nothing there that i can't wait for.

    So epics when available is a real thing right from the off (Strimtom did mention this, and i assumed it was because he'd had 5 past lives and 3 beers under his belt that he'd forgotten about), don't worry too much about level unless i'm being smitten - and aim for solo raids one day.

    I am starting to talk to my hirelings tho - the silence in general chat is weird.
    The game has gone through several odd times of development based on current power when a pack was released. TOEE and Slave Lords is very mob heavy with a lot of stat inflation. If you aren't able to get it done solo at level, that's not a knock on you. You are on the right path, asking the right questions. Keep it up. This game is complicated and very rewarding and versatile. But there are some ways down the path that make you question what you're doing.
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  6. #6

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    Quote Originally Posted by enksun View Post
    1) Going from heroic to epic. Using Grimm&Barrett's as a guideline, the change from HE (tonnes of hard to kill abashai) to EN (hardly any, and it's level 30+ to boot) is hard to reconcile in my aged brain (tho the end boss is nicely boosted in EN - what a surprise!).
    Heroic to Epic is indeed a step up. Don't be afraid to do normal. When you don't have capped destinies, or past lives, or leveled Cannith Crafting, or farmed gear, or much knowledge of the quests...yeah, they are going to put a boot up in you periodically. When Epic Gianthold was released and I got vaporized by a 900hp polar ray from the end boss of Prison Of The Planes, it came as a bit of a shock. I looked through the combat log to see what happened, and designed a counter to it for the next time. This is expected.

    Is this how all the guides recommend lvl 15/lvl 30 H/E gear for their epic gear guides? They farm them on EN or EH or something while they are level 15?
    Storage space is at a premium, the inventory system is clunky, and keeping around a full set of gear for every level would be extremely annoying. A lot of guides will recommend level 15 Sharn gear specifically because it's the newest hotness with the most overripe stats and will often carry a player to the mid-20s before starting to noticeably fall off.

    Also for many players (not me), they can churn out a dozen levels in a few hours of playing. They routinely will use XP boosting store potions and zerg through high value quests repeatedly to squeeze out every last drop of quick XP, so the gap between level 15 and level 30 is maybe 2 days, and not weeks. Having to constantly go back to the bank to swap out gear would be a real crimp in their style.
    Kobold sentient jewel still hate you.

  7. #7
    Community Member RAFAR's Avatar
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    Quote Originally Posted by enksun View Post
    I know i struggled on EN in the temple of elemental evil, even with my new bow, enough so that i'm simply waiting until a later level to try it. ToEE is not new, as i understand it, but probably is a special case (it's designer has many herbal remedies in the garden too, i'm guessing). I can farm a few chests at that level now, slowishly, but there's nothing there that i can't wait for.
    https://ddowiki.com/page/Item:Epic_Sapphire_Sting ? (critical profile)
    + Cannith +
    + Csodaszarvas +
    + MCMLXXXVI + Ezredes + Giliszta + Halacska +

  8. #8
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    Quote Originally Posted by RAFAR View Post
    Yes, the infamous Sting is indeed what drew my attention there The thunderforged will do for a while tho. And one day, Grimm and Barrett will cough up the quiver instead of pretty herbal rings - or i will hold their badger hostage.

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    On Epic Hard and higher difficulty settings, enemies have Epic Ward. Orange named enemies gain Deathblock and mob density tends to increase. Also in Epic the bosses scale depending on your level whereas they don't in heroic. That's part of the reason why you should be able to easily solo 'Grim and Barett' on Epic Normal when your Character is around Level 25.

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    Quote Originally Posted by DYWYPI View Post
    On Epic Hard and higher difficulty settings, enemies have Epic Ward. Orange named enemies gain Deathblock and mob density tends to increase. Also in Epic the bosses scale depending on your level whereas they don't in heroic. That's part of the reason why you should be able to easily solo 'Grim and Barett' on Epic Normal when your Character is around Level 25.
    Way before 25, truth be told, and with the sinew bow. I didn't realise it was easier than HE until lvl 22 or so (sometime around there). Thanks for mentioning epic ward, i hadn't come across the term before, probably because the only thing that concerns my ranger is their hp. And their acid resist, now i think about it - i'll try G&B again on EH and see if it's lowered.

  11. #11
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    Quote Originally Posted by enksun View Post
    Going from heroic to epic. Using Grimm&Barrett's as a guideline, the change from HE (tonnes of hard to kill abashai) to EN (hardly any, and it's level 30+ to boot) is hard to reconcile in my aged brain (tho the end boss is nicely boosted in EN - what a surprise!).

    Is this change from heroic to epic typical? It seems...odd.
    Epic isn't a difficulty. It's a "tier" (i.e., a level range of quests). It's not easier because you went from Heroic to Epic, it's easier because you went from Elite to Normal.

    If you want to compare Heroic and Epic, you should be comparing Heroic Normal to Epic Normal, Heroic Hard to Epic Hard, and Heroic Elite to Epic Elite. Many people find actually find Epic harder than Heroic at the same difficulty.

    Quote Originally Posted by enksun View Post
    They farm them on EN or EH or something while they are level 15?
    Nope, generally can't get in Epic-tier quests when you're still Heroic level yourself.

    Quote Originally Posted by enksun View Post
    Sneak attack die from enhancements. I've always presumed this had to occur while 'hidden' - but ive gathered lately that some other effects substitute for this (deception et al), tho it is not spelled out that i can find - i chalk it up to learning curve again. Do players actually creep about the dungeons in hide?
    You qualify for sneak attack damage on a mob whenever you don't have it's aggro, and a few other special cases (e.g., mob is blind or helpless). If you are solo, it's a lot trickier to not have the aggro. If you're in a group, you might just automatically be getting sneak damage almost all the time. (Especially if you have tank, use threat-reduction, et cetera.)

    People do creep about, but usually not to get sneak attack damage. Assassination is a good reason. Just scouting what's ahead without triggering mobs is another potential reason.
    Quote Originally Posted by Vargouille View Post
    As a general rule we don't intend for a single spawn area to cause any dungeon alert, and certainly not red dungeon alert. This basically isn't ever a goal in our designs

  12. #12
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    Quote Originally Posted by SirValentine View Post
    Epic isn't a difficulty. It's a "tier" (i.e., a level range of quests). It's not easier because you went from Heroic to Epic, it's easier because you went from Elite to Normal.

    If you want to compare Heroic and Epic, you should be comparing Heroic Normal to Epic Normal, Heroic Hard to Epic Hard, and Heroic Elite to Epic Elite. Many people find actually find Epic harder than Heroic at the same difficulty.
    Thanks, I think i understand. The lvl 14 HN version is indeed much easier than the HE version - it's the level designation of epic 30 that throws me, that's all - it's all i have as a guide, and it seems...arbitrary? Or maybe i should read it as "don't try this on EE until lvl 30". I'm sure that i would struggle with the EE or even EH versions (for now!).

    Quote Originally Posted by SirValentine View Post
    Nope, generally can't get in Epic-tier quests when you're still Heroic level yourself.
    Yeah i didn't think that one through - overlevel farming i guess (just what i'm doing now, for some things). As for the sneak attack die, i'm probably wrong about that too (i notice sniper attack, which i use all the time, has a sneak component...)

  13. #13
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    Quote Originally Posted by enksun View Post
    Hi all, new player who's gotten his strimtom acid ranger to 20 +5, with a tier 1 thunderforged bow.
    Congrats! That's very respectable progress for a new player! Welcome to the game!

    Quote Originally Posted by enksun View Post
    2) Sneak attack die from enhancements. I've always presumed this had to occur while 'hidden'...
    Nupe! In DDO, basically, SA, from any source, occurs when the target is not attacking "you". So, sneaking up, or opening the combat w/ a ranged shot - yep, that's SA. But also if a party member can hold aggro, then all others' attacks count as SA, the whole combat long if the aggro is on someone else!

    And helpless, etc.

    (Iirc (and I may not?) there are also some items (and maybe enhancements?) that always add SA dice, regardless of aggro.)

    Sneaking around best serves SA melee (since Ranged SA is easy), and especially assassins, as adding SA to just that first swing can be a nice jump on the DPS.

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